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Discussion Starter #1
(I think this belongs in the "behavior" part of the forum, but it seems that I am not yet able to post threads there -- my apologies!)

My cat has sporadically been peeing outside the liter box. She doesn't avoid her litter altogether, and she looks and acts healthy (running around, eating well) but occasionally when clean laundry is left out, or she finds an empty cardboard box, and once when a guest left a suitcase with clothes open, she has gone there. Going to the vet with her is an ordeal (she gets car sick) and I was wondering if this is something that has to do with health or if she's simply not liking the laundry smell or if it's something totally different. Please help me to understand what's going on with the kitty.

Thanks!
 

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There are typically three possible reasons for a cat not using the litter box: (1) health issues, (2) issues with the box or the litter, or (3) behavioral issues. Normally, it is wise to first rule out health issues such as a UTI, although if not using the litter box has been very sporadic and has been going on for a while, then chances are health isn't the reason. As for issues with the box/litter, the link below will lead you to a very helpful article that discusses potential litter box or litter problems and what you can do about them. Behavioral issues typically relate to stress, such as the recent addition of a new cat or family member, a recent move, or similar changes.

In short, you should (a) consider a trip to the vet to rule out a possible UTI, (b) read the article to see whether any of the potential problems might apply, and (c) think about whether anything might be causing stress. Good luck!

The Litter Box From Your Cat's Point of View by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: Litter box management, types of cat litter, feline house soiling, inappropriate elimination
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much for your suggestions! I'll see if I can arrange a visit to the vet and I'll definitely take a look at the article.
 

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I had a roommate who took in a young stray who turned out to be pregnant. She never quite got the hang of the litter box, and if you moved it on her she'd just go where the box had been. After she had her kittens, she didn't bother w/ the box anymore, and the kittens sort of learned that from her.. Plastic bags were very popular toilets.. Ug, NOT a fun living environment at all (kittens were cute tho). Eventually she moved out and just let the momma be an outdoor cat
 

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I think a vet should see your cat, it can be an UTI after all. But if it's just a behaviour thing, cats can be taught otherwise, it just takes a lot of patience and it can get very frustrating sometimes. Some cats are cleaner than others, each cat is an individual. My Modra would only use the litterbox or the back of the yard, but I've had a cat before and he was not used to the litterbox at all and it took me 1 year to persuade him to use it.
 

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You might try "Dr. Elsley's Cat Attract Litter Additive". Some posters have reported good success with it.
Cat Attract Litter Additive (Only Available through your vet) -

Another thing if you are not already doing it, is to scoop the box 2x/day and change the litter completely and wash out the box every 3 weeks (if it's one cat using it). You might also have an additional litter box as some cats like one to pee in and one to poop in.

Hope you can get your cat to use the litter box.
 
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